Classic design meets modern comfort

A family fishing getaway is born from long-time camp traditions

Interior designer Peggy DeYoung, left, and architect Diana Grater inside a home they collaborated on in Hannawa Falls. Photo by Jason Hunter.

By Peggy DeYoung and Diana Grater

The owner of this family compound grew up in Potsdam through high school, as his four brothers before him. When the brothers left for college, his parents retired to the family fishing camp on the Raquette River in Hannawa Falls. Through the years the camp became the site for family reunions. It was remodeled and renovated to accommodate an increasing number of in laws and cousins. When water damage and the ensuing structural deficiencies proved too significant, the house was torn down and rebuilt on the existing footprint.

Unlike the original camp with its dark interiors, the new design became a light-filled, two-story retreat with a strong connection to the landscape. Large operable windows and an open plan provide water views from the main living spaces. French doors provide easy access to outdoor living on the balcony, screen porch, and terrace. The living areas benefit from windows on two adjacent walls maintaining ample natural light throughout the day.

The new design also is configured to provide a variety of living spaces for residents. There are five bedroom suites, a billiard room, entertainment room, breakfast room, and a great room located on three levels to allow maximum privacy for varying family needs.

Like the traditional fishing camp, the house is built of indigenous materials: pine, fir, cherry, cedar, sandstone and slate. Stained cedar shingles and warm reddish-brown stone make up the exterior finishes. The colors and textures reflect the surrounding woods. The stone, although not locally quarried, recalls the Potsdam sandstone found on many historic structures in the north country.

Interior wall finish is sugar pine wood paneling; wood because it is a very forgiving and low maintenance material and sugar pine because it is a soft, warm color. Builder Robert Hayes custom milled all the wide tongue and groove wall boards.

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